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Karaoke Night on My Birthday

Updated on December 17, 2009

Dec 16th 2009

I wore my cowboy hat. The tan one that cost a bit more than I could afford so my twin daughters sent it to me last year. Wow, has a year already gone by since I got that hat to wear for performances? It still looks brand new.

I used to leave a price tag hanging off it, as I'm a fan of Minnie Pearl, but if I want to do a serious number, then the price tag has to be hidden, as some don't remember Minnie like I do.

Last night was my 63rd birthday and it was memorable. I received about 6 birthday cards down at the Riverside Casino Dance Hall. Someday I will pull them out and look at them again and get the same warm feeling of appreciation that I got from them last night.

My special friends Chris and Joe, the older couple bought me some shower gel and cream, you know, the kind of cosmetics you wonder if you'll actually use, but it's the thought, right? Of course it is. I made a big deal out of it throwing paper up in the air to see the contents. It's so easy to make Chris laugh. She's actually an angel. Nobody knows this but me. Not even Joe suspects.

At the Riverside, it's a family atmosphere inside the dance hall while bunches of people from all over the U.S. including the singers, are on the outside pushing buttons and wondering if it's gonna be their lucky night on the tables or machines.

I thought I'd spend $10 gambling as surely since it's my birthday, I'd probably win, right?

Nope! I decided to stop gambling and just go to the casino to sing. That way, I can stop imagining that one of these nights I'll get lucky and hit it big! All the big winners anyway, never tell me just how much they put into the casino, in order to finally hit it big. That would spoil the "winner" feeling, it they did confess that they were playing for 4 years before hitting a sizable jackpot. In defense of a gambling type of lifestyle, I will say this; each machine affords a measure of entertainment in it's presentation. You get so you have your favorites, the ones that seem to allow you sometimes to break even. So it's not the winning idea sometimes, when you gamble, but it's the idea of being a player and watching your emotions go up and down with the machine, which is actually playing you! In that sense. It's strictly whether you can let go of your money without feeling totally devastated, if you realize it's what they call gambling and you like the excited feeling of "maybe," just maybe I'll win. If the machines paid all the time, the casino would have to shut down for no profit.

Everytime it's someone's birthday, the KJ hosts sing happy birthday, whether it's a regular customer or someone passing through. Of course they sang happy birthday to me with the canned music background. I bowed stiffly to a couple dozen folks sitting in the front and got a smile. I often try to forget about birthdays, but you know, they won't let you forget. It's a way to pass on good wishes.

I did two numbers, the standard I usually do. Nobody ever gets tired of Mama's got a Squeeze box. I followed that up with a tune that's been playing in my mind a few days; Connie Francis's Don't Break The Heart That Loves You.

I know it so well. When I was 17, I used to dream of being a singer. I'd sit in front of the mirror in my bedroom, playing Connie's album over and over, just marveling at her fine voice and wishing I was her, just for one minute.

I couldn't sing like her. I was in choirs all my life, but singing a part is not like singing a pop song, so what I'd do is pantomime. I'd mouth the words without making a sound, along to the record.

I'd pretend, yea, lol, I'm Connie Francis! I'd make funny expressions on my face and laugh at myself to try and feel what she felt when she sang. My kid sister, then about 7, would peek in, as this was her bedroom too and she'd sit down quietly and watch me. I felt like a fool but sometimes I'd let her be the audience and I could tell she got a kick out it.

So after all these many years, Connie's tunes come back to me and how I'd memorized every inflection and tone she'd done. I know if a tune is rolling around in my head, I'll be able to pull it off. I sang it, reaching every subtle or blatant emotion that she'd done before me. I was the perfect copycat and people told me so.

Some old guy was really sweet to say he would be dreaming of me that night. That really is a nice compliment and frankly, made my day so much more memorable, then being sang happy birthday to.

I got to do an interview (I look for couples to interview who have been together like forever, to see how they done it) with Dorothy. The Riverside is full of older folks who have been together a long time. Recently a lot of gossip was going around that Dorothy had popped a good one on the jaw of, I'll call her Margaret.

Seems Margaret had been rubbing up on her man of some 43 years, another karaoke regular who makes the ladies swoon when he sings. So i got the story from the horse's mouth. Dorothy told me her and her man almost broke up over this incident. I'm so glad they didn't.

What she said was, it was good for their marriage and ever since she popped Margaret, her man realized how much love was in their marriage after all, if she would fight for him that way. Maybe the incident was good for Margaret too, as possibly she wasn't aware that her behavior might have ruined a good marriage.

Not that I could say popping someone is a good thing to do, but frankly, I think in this case it was the only thing Dorothy could do, due to Dorothy's passions, she confessed to me, that she had been thinking of suicide if their marriage actually ended.

Then she said, she'd vetoed the idea of suicide because she's too smart for that route. Instead she'd considered to explain her feelings to hubby. She told him to get out and suddenly the man realized he didn't want to get out. He loved her, but it had been so long since saying those 3 little words that can save a marriage from going on the rocks.

So they decided to stay together and get rid of the 3rd party. Three's a crowd after all!

All's well that ends well. Margaret soon found two "single" men in the club to dance with. She keeps trying to hug Dorothy, but Dorothy is not quite ready to reciprocate in like manner.

And so ends another year of Karaoke on the River with my new friends. Tonite I'll go see Gracie Black at the Encore. If you're ever in Bullhead City, Gracie could use some business, and maybe I can help her build up the club. Gracie sings as good as anybody that has a hit out there, and better than some. She has a powerful voice and has knocked me out more than once, no, not with her fist, lol, I mean she can reach a high, strong note.

Happy holidays from TriCities, Arizona area. Yours truly, I am LaughingRain.



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